Interview with Patrick Varnavas

Name: Patrick Varnavas

Age: 19 Years

Cardistry: 4 Years

From: New Jersey, US

I’m best known for being the best cardist and as the founder of Best Cardist Alive.

"Do it yourself"

SHIVRAJ: How did you get into cardistry or where did you see it first?

PATRICKDimitri Arleri's video Opera was the first cardistry video I saw that felt like actual art, made me want to give it a try.

SHIVRAJ: How would you define 'cardistry' in your own words?

PATRICK: Card art! Anybody that uses cards to create great moments is a cardist. Card flourishers, card magicians, card photographers are all just different types of card artists in my head. They're all the same weirdos to me.

SHIVRAJ: Who/What inspires you the most and why?

PATRICK: Definitely the community. My biggest creative weakness is my need for everybody else to kill it and set the creative bar for me. I get kinda lost without all these kids. 

SHIVRAJ: What is your creative process of making moves?

PATRICK: First thing I do is figure out what I want. I try not to worry much about being original. Makes it harder for me to focus on making something good. Then I start combining different grips and transitions that I think might bring me to the thing that I want. If I can't think of something to aim for then I just mess around until I find something worth expanding. I trust my gut most of the time. 

SHIVRAJ: How do you overcome a 'Creative Block'?

PATRICK: Trust your intuition. Try new shit, you'll run into something neat at some point. If it doesn't come today try tomorrow. No rush, take the pressure off. Give yourself permission to make something great. 

SHIVRAJ: Describe your style in one word/sentence.

PATRICK: Emulation

SHIVRAJ: What role does the art play in your life or in simple words why do you do it?

PATRICK: I can't imagine my life without cardistry. I'd be a completely different person. I've learned so much about myself and about creation all through a deck of cards. My best friends came from cardistry. I like to feel like I have a say in things. I love personal choice and cardistry gives me a place to make those choices, a place where I get to pick what happens next.

SHIVRAJ: How do you think you can help in improving the field of cardistry?

PATRICK: I think the problems with cardistry are mainly communal/infrastructural. The brands barely support each other outside of the annual convention where everybody exchanges sentimentalities for a few days and then we go back to the way we were. That sentimentality needs to sustain 365 days. I want to attack the lack of actual promotion in this community. We only self-promote; nobody exists to help push other people up. I want to shift things from a competitive mindset to a collaborative mindset. I created bestcardistalive to be a solution to most of these problems. 

SHIVRAJ: What is your favourite move by you or by someone else? What do you like about it?

PATRICK: I think Barolo 2 is a work of art. Starts from a Sybil grip, the most open-source grip, and fully explores parallel-corner rotation. The logic is perfect, it looks beautiful and it fully utilizes its core concepts. Nikolaj is a meticulous creator. 

A video posted by nikolaj (@nikolajlfhp) on


SHIVRAJ: Which is your favourite cardistry video of all time?

PATRICK: Fontaine Fam! 


SHIVRAJ: What do you think about the concept 'Cardestroy'?

PATRICK: It's so important that we embrace things like cardestroy. Introducing limiters and rules into creativity is just begging for creative blocks and community stagnation. I think cardestroy is one of the purest forms of cardistry. 

SHIVRAJ: What genre of music do you mostly listen to?

PATRICK: Hmm a lot of grime rap recently. Stuff like Ratking. I always dig jazz/soul stuff though, Hiatus Kaiyote's "Shaolin Monk Motherfunk" will kick your ass. 

SHIVRAJ: What do you do other than cardistry?

PATRICK: I take pictures and write music usually, I run a lot. 

SHIVRAJ: What are you further planning to do in your life?

PATRICK: I want to live off cardistry and I want to create a real infrastructure for cardists that can be passed down to the next generation.  

SHIVRAJ: Any contest/contests you've participated in/won?

PATRICK: Nah I'm the worst flourisher.

SHIVRAJ: Any advice for the community?

PATRICK: Don't be mean to magicians, we need them. 

SHIVRAJ: Any last thoughts? (If any)


SHIVRAJ: Thanks a lot for your time! Have a nice day, cheers!